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First Gen Guide to College: Financial Aid

Jump to: Scholarships & Grants  |  Loans  |  Student Employment  |  Military Dependents  |  Financial Aid Resources


Historically there has been increases in tuition each year. In the spring semester, students will receive a notification of the tuition amount for the next academic year. If you ever have questions about financial aid, contact the Financial Aid Office.


Students interested in financial aid other than their merit scholarship need to reapply for financial aid each year. Merit scholarships will automatically renew as long as the student meets enrollment and satisfactory academic progress requirements. Federal regulations require that students who want federal aid complete a new FAFSA each year. The primary reason for this is to ensure that an individual’s eligibility for assistance is based on the most up-to-date income, asset and family information. FAFSA (Free Application For Federal Student Aid) for most students and Illinois Wesleyan Financial Aid Application for Returning Students is required for financial aid consideration. International students and undocumented students should not complete FAFSA. International students can complete CSS Profile. Undocumented and transgender students should complete the Alternative Application for Illinois Financial Aid provided via Retention of Illinois Students & Equity (RISE) Act and Alternative Application for Illinois Financial Aid.


For federal student aid, you are required to be enrolled in at least 2 units per semester. For institutional aid, you are required to be enrolled in 3 units per semester. For the State of Illinois Monetary Award Program (MAP) Grant you are required to be enrolled in at least 3.75 units each semester.

Scholarships & Grants

Scholarships are monetary gifts awarded to students based on merit, talent, or academic performance. Grants are gift aid given to students, typically based on financial need. These can come from state government, federal government, non-profit organizations, and schools. Scholarships and grants do not need to be repaid. Here are some common questions about scholarships and grants that you might want to check. 


The largest source of gift aid is derived from friends of Illinois Wesleyan University who have provided funds for worthy students who need assistance. You do not have to apply separately for these generously endowed scholarships. When you first submit your application for admission along with your transcripts, you will be considered for all merit and need-based aid.



A loan is money that you borrow from a lender with an agreed-upon date to pay back the total amount plus interest. The interest rate for student loans is typically lower than consumer rates. The success rate of Illinois Wesleyan graduates paying their loans is over 99%, well above the national average.


Student Employment

A job on campus helps students pay for their education while gaining valuable work experience. View current job openings on campus. 


United States law requires anyone who is employed to complete the I9/W4 employment forms.  Students need to show documents that establish both identity and eligibility to work in the United States before the forms will be considered complete. A complete list of documents that establish identity and eligibility to work is listed on the back side of the I9 form.


Students demonstrating additional need may be awarded a student employment amount. Please refer to the Student Employment Handbook for more information on the student employment program.


Military Dependents

Military dependents may qualify for additional benefits via the Yellow Ribbon Program, which helps cover costs for higher out-of-state, private school ,or graduate school tuition that the Post-9/11 GI Bill® doesn’t cover. To learn more about this program, visit the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs website


Financial Aid Resources

  • University Loan Information - provides information to students about the loans they may have been awarded in their financial aid package as well as additional loans that may be available. 
  • Satisfactory Academic Progress - students must maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0, as well as successfully complete at least 75% of attended classes at IWU, in order to keep Federal and State Aid.  
  • Student Employment Opportunities - list of available campus jobs for students. Apply directly with the hiring supervisor to be considered for a position. 
  • Billing Information - for information about how to pay your bill 
  • IWU Alliance Student Emergency Assistance - BIPOC students have access to some funding for emergency assistance through The Alliance.